Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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Rockport Conservatives

VDH discusses European vs American Morality

Victor Davis Hanson knows so well how to say what anyone with a sense of decency innately knows. From NRO:
A Teachable Moment on American-European Faultlines
By Victor Davis Hanson
The full story is not out on Dominique Strauss-Kahn and he is innocent of forcible sexual battery until proven guilty, but already the case has exposed an ancient abyss between European elite and American popular cultures — accentuated by the differences between New York’s rough-and-tumble media and legal worlds on one hand and IMF technocracy and French privilege on the other. There are also questions of race and asymmetrical power in play, as well as the notion that an IMF head should adopt at least a fa├žade of probity and sacrifice, given that his organization lectures tens of millions on fiscal sobriety and belt-tightening.

So far what confuses Americans the most, superficially at least, is that a man of the Left like socialist Strauss-Kahn should seem so comfortable with the elite tastes of the damnable aristocracy — the astronomically priced suits, the $3,000-a-night suite, the Air France privileges, and the medieval Norman baron’s sense of entitlement regarding an immigrant housecleaner — while the supposedly neanderthal, right-wing Americans and their primitive “accusatory” legal system (read the French press on all that) so far are treating the rights of a maid as equal to a Eurocrat’s.

The wonder about the French cultural furor over the incident is not that they consider us parochial and “hung up” on sex, but that the press and its op-ed writers are so blatant in their expressions of class snobbery and national chauvinism. For all the Euro-lectures about Western imperialist colonialism, this story (fairly or unfairly) casts the Americans as the everyman and the French as the haughty technocrat furious that rules of equality under the law apply to him — not to mention modern notions of feminism, about which one would have expected a sophisticated Frenchman to be sensitive.

One also might have thought the French press would have taken more note of the angle that a foreign national accused of committing several felonies is drawing on considerable power, influence, and money in his legal contest with an immigrant maid from Africa. Instead, in French press accounts, one distills a veritable caricature: “How dare those backward Americans do this? Do they have any idea of who Strauss-Kahn is and what he represents, or how we civilized and sophisticated Europeans deal with these dime-a-dozen sort of low-rent sexual accusations against men of culture from mere chambermaids?”

A book also needs to be written about the psychology that drives elites to push for socialism or statism for others even though it would eventually end the easy affluence that they assume as near birthrights for themselves. A Strauss-Kahn suit, a jaunt to Vail, Martha’s Vineyard, or Costa del Sol — these are not only at odds with the notion of a state-mandated equality of result, they are themselves just dessert fruits of capitalism that would wither on the vine if socialism were fully enacted.
What is it that gives powerful people who think we should all provide for others, on their say so, yet they are so arrogant.

A Rose by an other name....or a Death Panel by any other name

Well, it won't smell as sweet as a rose, but it will still be a death panel.  We may be older folks but we aren't stupid. Read this from Investor's.com:
Will Congress Kill 'Death Panel 2.0'?
In the year since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the individual mandate requiring Americans to buy insurance or pay a fine has attracted the most attention.

Another key ObamaCare feature has received little notice, but could end up just as controversial.

It goes by the mundane name of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

A growing and bipartisan array of critics says it will end up rationing care for seniors and is pushing to scrap IPAB entirely. Some of its fiercest opponents have even resurrected the "death panel" label.

Under the law, the president would appoint 15 experts to the board. Starting in 2014, it would be charged with making sure Medicare hits specific spending targets. Because IPAB can't touch benefits, deductibles or co-payments, those cuts would largely focus on provider fees.

Once the board has made up its mind, its cuts would automatically take effect, unless Congress agrees on an alternative package or can get a supermajority to block IPAB's plan. And IPAB decisions would be immune from administrative or judicial review.

By insulating IPAB from politics, it can more effectively manage Medicare costs, the argument goes. Prominent backers include Obama. But several Democrats have come out against it.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., has said the IPAB risks "the health of America's seniors and people with disabilities." Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., in April "strongly" urged her colleagues to sign onto a GOP-led IPAB repeal bill.

The head of the pro-ObamaCare AARP told the New York Times recently that "relying on arbitrary spending targets is not a good way to make health policy, especially when decisions may be left to the unelected and unaccountable."

Groups from the Healthcare Leadership Council to the National Retail Federation back repeal.
You can read it all here.

The essence of Newt

I hate to admit it but I think a Washington Post editorial by Richard Cohen just put how I feel about Newt into the words I could not find.  I disagree with them that their Fact Checker "is possibly the most powerful force for good since Clark Kent encountered a phone booth. "  But buried in the article on Newt Gingrich, a hard hitting, get Newt article (and they do, as have many others) is the essence of what I have been feeling about Newt Gingrich. 

I have never been a fan of the man and now I realize this is why:
There is more than a little Richard Nixon in Gingrich — the same lack of place, the same keen intellect, the same petty fights and imaginary enemies, the same hallucinatory grievances, the same willingness to lie, exaggerate and smear. On a given day, Newt Gingrich could be a brilliant president. On any night, he could be a monster.
He gives a lot of examples of his lying, read the whole editorial.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gateway Pundit is Shocked, Shocked I tell you!

And Well they should be -  look at this:
Stunner. Muslim Brotherhood “Reformer” to Run for President in Egypt
Posted by Jim

Well, who could have known? That is, who in the President's orbit. The rest of us knew all along the Muslim Brotherhood was not good news in the Egyptian uprisings.
from The Strata-Sphere by AJStrata
Obamacare Fails – Big Time!

There is a
striking story from the AP today, which does not seem to be getting much attention. It turns out Obamacare’s ignorant, naive and overly complex Rube Goldberg solution to ‘fix’ the best health care system on the planet has run into a major problem. It has been rejected by 90% of the premiere health organizations as impossible to implement:
Just over a month ago, the administration released long-awaited draft regulations for “accountable care organizations,” networks of doctors and hospitals that would collaborate to keep Medicare patients healthier and share in the savings with taxpayers.
But in an unusual rebuke, an umbrella group representing premier organizations such as the Mayo Clinic wrote the administration Wednesday saying that more than 90 percent of its members would not participate, because the rules as written are so onerous it would be nearly impossible for them to succeed.
When premiere providers of health care conclude the nonsense produced by a community organizer who thinks in simpleton, primary colors is pretty much guaranteed to fail, that is one heluva rebuke!
He wrote several paragraphs more but the gist of the story is wrapped up in the last sentence,
"Time to scrap that trillion dollar mistake and start over."

Links to Victor Davis Hanson's writings from National Review Online

The World Turned Upside Down -- Again 
Amid global upheaval, our leaders have forgotten how strong America really is.

Tough Times for Radical Islam
Osama bin Laden's world of terrorism no longer exists.

A Weird Sort of Hate
I think it is time to move beyond the Pakistani "alliance": quietly and without fanfare cut off all aid, and wish them well as they seek their own path without the United States.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Both parties wanted to divide and conquer

Those parties would be the Democratic Party and Osama bin Laden via Al Queda. Read this from American Thinker.
Osama Bin Laden's strategy sounds familiar
Phil Boehmke

Wait just a minute, captured documents reveal that Osama Bin Laden wanted to use race and class warfare to weaken America? Isn't that what the Democratic Party has been doing for the past half century? ABC News reports:
Osama Bin Laden aspired to damage the United States not only through persistent terror attacks, but also by attempting to inflame race and class tensions in hopes of tearing down the country from the inside out, according to officials briefed on the evidence trove recovered from the al Qaeda leader's Pakistan compound.

According to materials in the cache of documents recovered in the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that brought down the terror leader, bin Laden planned to specifically recruit African-American Muslim converts to carry out attacks on the homeland. The goal was to not only kill and maim in the actual operations, but to create a divisiveness that would cause more damage than al Qaeda could ever hope to do on their own.
For some reason Jeremiah Wright's post 9-11 "God damn America" sermon springs to mind. OBL must have been heartened by the election of Barack Obama, which looks suspiciously like the crowning achievement of his strategy. Still, it would be wrong to view the race-baiting and class warfare tactics of the left as an outgrowth of some grand al Qaeda strategy.
To see what Al Sharpton thinks about this go here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

So much to post, so little time......

So you are getting links in a big bundle.

Mirroring the Canadians in the UK, Conservatives win
Election results 2011: Lib Dems suffer worst losses in a generation

I guess they just didn't know it before.
Pakistan Forces Arrest 40 Suspects Connected to Bin Laden

This is not surprising. I know some very good teachers who do not vote with the union, but....
Nation's largest union asks members to back Obama’s reelection

Just for the record, Al Queda has admitted their blessed leader is dead
'Your happiness will turn to sadness': Al Qaeda admits Bin Laden IS dead - but vows bloody revenge

I saw a headline yesterday saying Ahmadinejad had stepped down.  I am not posting that one but it did have to do with the fact that some of his key men have had some very strange accusations made against them and have been ousted from his cabinet. I expect he is on his way out and this is why. I had not planned to post more than headlines but this is just a very good example of what century these people are living in.
Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

Iranian power struggle between president and supreme leader sees arrests and claims of undue influence of chief of staff
Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).

Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as "a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds".
So that seems like a good enough review of what I am reading today.  A large and varied roundup.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Is the hoped for "bump" turning into a dip?

I've had many emails back and forth with friends and other conservatives about the dissembling going on within the administration on exactly what happened during the raid that ended in the death of bin Laden.  I cannot believe that anyone is feeling more trust and love for the president and his fellow Democrats unless they already felt great trust and love.  You may have realized this but I don't feel that trust and love. I want to know what really happened.  I want the rest of the world to be able to believe the USA when we say something. 

Now via PJ Tatler I find that even Time magazine's Mark Halperin is not exactly feeling the trust, even though it would be very hard for him not to feel the love.
Five Mistakes the Obama Administration Has Made in the Aftermath of Bin Laden Killing

Aftermath can be heck.

The White House's brilliant conceptualization and execution of the plan to bring Osama bin Laden to justice has, in the last 48 hours, been complicated by mistakes.

No one can question the heroism of the US military, the doggedness of the intelligence community, or the cajones of the President in making the call. But the administration has since made real errors, some with political costs, some with substantive costs, and some with both. (See pictures of Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideaway.)
Actually Mark, this blogger can question those cojones, I've read the stories of his delaying tatics on the raid.
The major errors so far:
1. Not getting its story straight: Was bin Laden armed or not? What woman served as a human shield? Who actually was killed beyond the main target? The administration deserves mountains of credit for its painstaking, conspicuous effort to brief the world on the mission, knowing a lot of information would have to be held back to protect sources, operatives, methods, and sensitive data. Which makes the carelessness of the errors somewhat surprising. The costs: the media coverage sours, the President's opponents (especially on talk radio) go crazy, other details of the mission unfairly get called into question, and the wild theories of global enemies and conspiracy seekers get a foothold.

2. Not giving George W. Bush enough credit for helping bring bin Laden to justice: Even if the White House believes the previous occupant had nothing to do with OBL's ultimate demise, it would have been better for national unity and Obama's own political fortunes if he had gone out of his way to thank 43. His invitation to Bush to join the event Thursday at Ground Zero (an offer declined) was the right idea, but belated. (Watch "President Obama on the Death of bin Laden.")

3. Letting the photo debate get out of control: The decision about whether to release images of a dead bin Laden is not an easy one. But the administration's conflicting statements and public agonizing has created an extended distraction. The White House has stumbled by violating one of Washington's iron rules: when something becomes famous inside the Beltway for not being released, the pressure from the media to release it becomes unrelenting.

4. Letting the debate about the war in Afghanistan get out of control: There are signs that some of the president's advisers are looking to scale back the commitment in Afghanistan sooner rather than later. But by failing to go on the offensive in defining and defending whatever policy the President wants to pursue, the White House has allowed those pressing for an end of the war to use bin Laden's death as rhetorical leverage. (See pictures of Osama bin Laden's life of terror.)

5. Letting the debate about Pakistan get out of control: The congressional and media demand for a radical change in America's relationship with Pakistan is burning like wildfire. The administration knows that a shift in policy is complicated and compromising, and not necessarily in the United States' interest. Stoking the problem: executive branch officials, publicly and privately, are expressing incredulity that the Pakistanis were unaware bin Laden was hiding in plain sight in their country. There should be and will be a debate about all this, but the administration's actions and inactions is making it less likely it will be on their terms.
So, Mark Halperin has listed some of the reasons we have all been discussing.  This tells me he knows this has been a major mistake in handling what could have been a very good political play on the president's side.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My opinion as well

From Four Block world:
Wartime Leaders

Victor Davis Hanson on the Bin Laden kill

From National Review's online Journal:
Bin Laden Fallout
I think there will be repercussions from the hit, and most of them will turn out to be good in terms of the War on Terror.
1) The world must now realize that the domestic antiwar movement is dead, kaput; it cares not a whit whether we assassinate bin Laden or a son of Qaddafi or go into Libya. Everything is on the table now and there are no self-restraints, no snickers on The Daily Show, no quirky insider winks on Letterman, no Barbara Streisand crazy faxes. A Nobel peace laureate is now the Left’s totem and he can send quite deadly Americans on quite deadly missions as he sees fit — and without worry about a New York Times op-ed barrage or an ACLU lawsuit. That gives the U.S. newfound advantages, a veritable blank check, from keeping Guantanamo open indefinitely to using a Cheney “assassination” team and valuable water-boarded intelligence wherever it wishes to. A Harold Koh is not going to be filing any more lawsuits against his government — he is the government.
2) For all the talk of “leading from behind” and the quagmire in Libya, the truth is that the U.S. military remains preeminent and transcends the administration in power at any given time. It won the Iraq war, and could easily, if unleashed, take out Qaddafi. The odds are still that it can stabilize Afghanistan. It is hard to imagine another country pulling off an operation of the sort that killed bin Laden. A “post-America” is simply a choice not to utilize its resources and power in a way it most certainly could with dispatch and success — as we see, in contrast, from the agonizing efforts of the British and French in Libya, or Russian anti-terrorism incompetence.
3) There is much talk of a payback to come. But the triumphalism of unapologetically celebrating the death of bin Laden also conveys a newfound confidence, or perhaps even fatalism, a sort of Bring it on, let’s get it over with once and for all. I think we will see that ‘whatever’ attitude with Pakistan, whose yelps about violation of its airspace will soon give way to the reality that American public opinion considers it not an ally, not even a neutral, but a veritable enemy that has done more harm to this country than Cuba, North Korea, or Venezuela ever dreamed of. Should Obama wish to deal toughly with the Pakistanis, he has public support, and of course the option of much closer relations with India, in and outside of Afghanistan. The public wants the Pakistan two-step to end.
4) Radical Islam has been incrementally and steadily weakened over the last decade. It has not repeated a 9/11-like operation. There are Bush-era antiterrorism protocols in place, embraced or expanded by Obama, that make terrorism far harder. We have killed thousands of Islamists in Anbar Province and in Afghanistan. The Arab world is fragmented, in open revolt, and the Arab Street is incapable of voicing, as it once did, solidarity with bin Laden. Obama knows this better than anyone, so talks of ‘reset’ even as he keeps the Bush antiterrorism protocols unchanged. Whether the trigger for this wave of Middle Eastern unrest and rebellion was the removal of Saddam and the establishment of a democracy in Iraq, or a Soviet-like implosion of failed autocratic government throughout the Middle East, it matters little. At least for now, Middle East dictatorships in extremis are claiming as their one saving grace their antiterrorism and anti-al-Qaeda credentials, and, likewise, those in the streets seeking to destroy these Middle East authoritarians are claiming just about the same. Both groups are probably lying, but their rhetoric at least is predicated on the fact that bin Laden &; Co. are now losers in a way they were praised as winners between 2001 and 2003.

Whoops! the Washington Post has some criticism of Obama's Slowness Strategy

Editorial Board Opinion
A strategy of slowness?

THE DEFINING characteristic of the Obama administration’s response to revolution in the Arab world has been its slowness. When protests first erupted in Egypt in January, the administration’s first reaction was to publicly pronounce Hosni Mubarak’s government “stable”; President Obama did not support the demonstrators’ demand for the dictator’s resignation until days before his departure. When Moammar Gaddafi launched an attempt to crush Libya’s uprising by force in February, Mr. Obama was the last major Western leader to speak out in opposition. Three more weeks passed before the White House agreed to military intervention to protect civilians.
Syria has been another case of extraordinary U.S. passivity. The first protests in the southern city of Daraa were five weeks ago, and on March 23 the first of many massacres of demonstrators by security forces was reported. Yet on March 27 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was still referring to President Bashar al-Assad as “a reformer.” Not until Friday — when at least 42 more civilians were reportedly gunned down — did the administration finally take its first, tangible steps to pressure the regime, by bringing Syria before the U.N. Human Rights Council and imposing sanctions on several officials. It still has not backed the protesters’ demands that Mr. Assad give up power.
This pattern of torpidity has sometimes appeared to be the product of Mr. Obama’s caution about adopting major changes in foreign policy; or disputes among his advisers over the proper course; or conflicting U.S. interests. Up to a point, the confusion is understandable. It is not easy to abandon long-standing alliances with Arab regimes or bet on the unknown in a country such as Syria, even when the reward may be a democratic transformation or a body blow to U.S. enemies.
Recently, however, some of Mr. Obama’s aides have sought to portray slowness as a considered policy. Last week The Post’s Scott Wilson quoted one official saying, with respect to Syria, that “we very much see our role in these things as one that is behind what voices in the region are saying.” The New Yorker magazine quoted an aide as describing the president’s actions in Libya as “leading from behind.” (ed note: can you believe that? lead from behind?)
Could it be that American passivity is a virtue, worthy of elevation into doctrine? The record in the Middle East so far suggests that it is not. The administration’s response to Egypt was not well received by Egyptians — a plurality of 39 percent said in a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center that the impact of the policy was “negative.” Sixty-four percent said they had little or no confidence in Mr. Obama — five percentage points more than a year ago. In Libya, opposition leaders have joined U.S. NATO allies in expressing disappointment at Mr. Obama’s refusal to commit more U.S. aircraft to the fight — a posture that almost certainly has prolonged the war and Libyans’ suffering.
By insisting on following “voices in the region” on Syria, Mr. Obama effectively deferred to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey about whether to take a stand against a regime that has deployed troops and tanks against unarmed citizens. That is an unprecedented yielding of U.S. global leadership on matters of human rights and democracy. It is more likely to increase than lessen anti-Americanism in the Arab world. In both practical and moral terms, “leading from behind” is a mistake.
I've posted the whole editorial, but here is a link.

Good news from Canada

In spite of the mainstream media and journalists trying to douse our hopes for the future it seems the people of Canada are also on a conservative bent. From Yahoo News Canada:
Canada's Conservatives score massive election win

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Conservatives stormed to a decisive victory in Monday's federal election, winning 54 percent of the seats in Parliament and securing a stable four-year term in power after vowing to focus on the economy.

The Conservatives grabbed 167 seats in Canada's Parliament, well above the 155 they needed to transform their minority government into a majority, according to provisional results. They won about 40 percent of the vote, beating expectations.

The victory, a relief for Canadian financial markets, left support for the separatist Bloc Quebecois in tatters and the party's leader without a seat. Bloc Quebecois advocates independence for the province of Quebec.

The Liberals, who have ruled Canada for more years than any other party, were reduced to a dismal third place showing with their worst ever seat haul.
Read it all here.  I don't know about you, but it gives me great  hope. Also read this from the BBC for more on this election. 

Stephen Harper's Conservatives win Canadian election

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party has won a majority of seats in a historic election that saw the left-leaning New Democratic Party become the official opposition.

The Conservatives won 167 of the 308 electoral districts, earning 40% of the vote, Elections Canada reported.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) claimed 102 seats, while the Liberals took 34.

Mr Harper, who took office in 2006, has previously won two elections but never before held a majority government.

Canadians voted on Monday in the country's fourth general election in seven years.